Becoming Jane – DVD Review

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Question: How many more films must we suffer through where the young rich British girl falls in love with the young poor rapscallion boy much to the chagrin of the high society that she come from? How many more dull lifeless biopics must we doze through about writers that are far less interesting than the stories they wrote?

Anne Hathaway plays a young Jane Autsen who doesn’t want to marry and only wants to write although everyone around her is telling her to give up on her dream and settle down and marry. James McAvoy plays Tom, a young upstart lawyer who likes to get into fights so his ashamed family sends him off to the country to get him away from the city. It is here that the two meet and Jane hates Tom right off the bat and soon is swinging back and forth between loving and hating him until finally she decides she does love him and wants to marry him even though he has no money of his own.

They go through the whole make up break up blah, blah, blah that every love story goes through and some how this film manages to drag it out to 2 hours. I think it is the extra uninteresting moments of her writing her books that all films like this must have but can’t be made worthwhile no matter how well they are shot.

Okay, I’ve lambasted this film enough. Let’s focus on some of the good since it’s not all bad. The film is well acted. Hathaway and McAvoy do have good chemistry together on screen no matter how clichéd the scenes might be. The film is also well shot. There is some beautiful cinematography here even if it is buried beneath miles and miles of schmaltz.

Becoming Jane is an uninspired predictable love story that will appeal to those who are drawn to love stories of any kind. Beyond that I’m not sure who would enjoy it. I’m sure if Jane Austen were alive today she would die in shame at the rubbish that was made of her life.

This film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. Sound is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Has a Spanish language track and Spanish and French subtitles.

Audio Commentary with Director Julian Jarrold, Writer Kevin Hood and Producer Robert Bernstein: File this one under the very informative but very boring category. These three are definitely knowledgeable of their craft and the life of Jane Austen but they are unable to get across this information in even a remotely entertaining fashion.

Becoming Jane Pop-Up Facts & Footnotes: Just what it sounds like: you can watch the film with little facts about Jane Austen’s real life that pop up. Interesting, I guess, if you are a Jane Austen fanatic.

Discovering The Real Jane Austen: (17 min.) Typical making–of. Ooh, look how modern she was! You know, the usual. It’s pretty in depth if you like the picture.

Deleted Scenes: (19 min.) You’ve got one extended scene and give deleted scenes here. It makes sense why all of these were left on the cutting room floor.


Miramax Films presents Becoming Jane. Directed by Julian Jarrold. Starring Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters and James Cromwell. Written by Sarah Williams and Kevin Hood. Running time: 120 minutes. Rated PG (for Brief Nudity and Mild Language). Released on DVD: February 12, 2008. Available at